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Ten things to do for $10 or less

How much fun can you have for $10 these days? Quite a lot if you know where to go. From art-house flicks to crafty cocktails, here’s the lowdown on the loose-change high life.

1. Choose cheap cocktails

You’ll feel sophisticated at op-shop prices with a $10 cocktail in hand. The Common Man in South Wharf slings espresso martinis for $10 a pop, all day every day. Or try a midweek espresso martini at Melbourne Public during their 4 – 7pm weekday happy hour.  Spritz up your life at the Campari bar at Brunetti on Flinders Lane for $10 Aperol and Campari spritzes. Pair your spritz with fried calamari, arancini and fried whitebait – each plate comes in under $10.

Two cocktails on a bench with plates of food around them

Spritzes and snacks at Brunetti

2. Discount movie nights 

Going to the movies is pricey – unless you time it right. On Mondays, tickets are $7 before 4pm and $10 after at Cinema Nova, and $8.50 all day at Kino Cinema. Sit back, relax, and enjoy millions of dollars in movie-making for peanuts.

3. Spend Friday night with a human jukebox

A cosy temple for all things kitsch, the Butterfly Club features a revolving door of cabaret, comedy and burlesque. Head in at the end of the week after 10.30pm for Fab Friday, where their legendary piano man plays songs by request. Tickets are $10 each, so bring a song to sing or just enjoy the awesome performance.

4. Take a street art stroll

There are plenty of walking tours offered around Melbourne, like the Melbourne Free Walking Tour that runs on a donation only basis. But if you prefer a self-directed sojourn, why not study the Melbourne Street Art Walking Tour map. Leave no laneway mural un-photographed with this two and a half hour stroll. No time for the full three kilometre trek? Break it up into mini adventures next time you’ve got a spare 20 minutes or so.

A sculpture of a man singing into a microphone on a wall covered with street art in a city laneway

ACDC Lane and Duckboard Place are a must-visit for Melbourne laneway lovers

5. Visit Asia on your lunch break

Fill up on the $10 Bahn Mi and Vietnamese iced coffee lunch deal at Bon Bon Boy. Or kick the carbs and feast on a mountain of fresh slaw, peanuts, pickled chilli and crispy tofu at I Love Pho for a mere $9. If Thai is more your thing, head to Soi 38 to try one of their delicious Bangkok noodle soups for $10. Their location is also a talking point – they’re hidden away in the ground floor of a carpark.

6. Have a pizza party

All day, every day, the Italian food experts at Fatto Bar & Cantina serve their authentic hand-stretched pizzas for just $10 a pop. If it’s been a particularly flush week, treat yourself to one of their zesty spritz specials.

7. Mondays, Mexican and margaritas

Bit tight on the pay cheque this week? Nacho problem at Mesa Verde, where $10 margaritas reign supreme every Monday from 4pm. If that’s not enough, there’s $10 mid-week margaritas at Hello José on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Or head down on Taco Tuesday for $5 tacos, tequila shots, Tecate tins and free comedy!

A margarita cocktail on a tiled bar bench

$10 margaritas are a Melbourne must

8. Cool down at the pool

For $6.10, spend an hour or a day at Carlton Baths outdoor pool. Kids’ entry is a mere $5, and there’s free music to round out the weekend at their Sunday sessions. Northside swimmers can head to North Melbourne Recreation Centre for $6.10, or visit city baths for an after work dip – it’ll only set you back $7.

If you’re looking for a place to cool down and really make a splash, check out these cool pools.

People swimming in an outdoor pool on a sunny day

Carlton Baths

9. Art at the NGV

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the oldest and most visited gallery in Australia, and among the top twenty most visited globally. Large amounts of the world-class collection is free. That includes contemporary art, historic works, fashion, design and architecture. Visit their current mesmerising (and free) exhibition of Venetian glass.

10. Sip a beer paddle at Hophaus

If you’re more of a beer kind of guy or gal, the tasting paddle at Hophaus is always $10. Choose four beers from the nine on tap and ponder a trip to Bavaria.

Want more inside tips? Get your Insider’s Guide for $10 lunch spots, to secret summer rooftops, prefect picnics and more.